eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest

my aunt gifted me the Repertoire by Jessica Battilana last year and it has quickly become one of my favorites. it’s really geared towards the home cook, people like me who want to make delicious meals but don’t want anything too fussy or over the top. you can tell that she really tested and refined all of the recipes and everything i’ve made has been excellent including this eggplant dish we’re sharing today. i highly recommend the cookbook. i’m pretty picky when it comes to which cookbooks i keep around, they really have to stand the test and deserve their space on my shelf and this one has passed with flying colors. – joanie

eggplant parm | designlovefest

jessica calls it “new eggplant parm”. she has simplified the whole process and kept it to the basics, fried eggplant, cheese, sauce and that’s it. it’s simple and delicious!

what you’ll need: 
• 2 1/2 pounds eggplant
• salt + pepper
• 1/2 cup AP flour
• 2 eggs beaten
• 2 cups panko bread crumbs
• 3/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
• canola oil for frying

for the sauce: 

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 pints cherry tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

to top:
• 1/2 lbs fresh mozz:rella
• flaky salt
• torn basil leafs


eggplant parm | designlovefest

• cut eggplant into 1/2″ thick slices and season both sides with salt and pepper. put the flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs mixed with the grated cheese into 3 different containers. she recommends cake pans which work great if you have them.

• dip each piece of eggplant first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the panko mixture pressing down lightly so the breading mixture sticks. place each piece on a baking sheet until you’ve coated all your eggplant.

• heat 1/2 each oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. set a wire rack over a baking sheet. when the oil is hot (you can test the oil by touch a piece of the eggplant to the oil with tongs and seeing if it sizzles) add the eggplant in a single layer. cooking until golden brown on each side, it took us about 5 minute per side but go by the color, not the time! once cooked place on the wire rack to cool. i lightly salted them while they were still warm but that’s optional, i’m just totally addicted to salt 🙂

eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest

• for the sauce, in a medium pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 6 minutes. add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften and pop, about 5 minutes. reduce the heat to low, add oregano and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, 5 minutes or more. season to taste with salt. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest

• final step! preheat the broiler to high. transfer the eggplant slices to an oven safe platter or baking sheet. top each slice with mozzarella and broil until melted. Remove from the oven, sprinkles with flaky salt, garnish with torn basil and serve immediately with the sauce alongside or on top!

eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest
eggplant parm | designlovefest

if you’re curious, you can find Jessica’s cookbook here on amazon!

images by: ivan solis



for a couple of hours, on a beautiful day. a look from heinui inspired this palette. —maddy

(photo source and hand drawn type by maddy nye for designlovefest)



our wedding invitations was such a special process to us, so i can’t help but share the details with ya! i’ll admit that the invites were probably the most time consuming wedding detail and there might have been a moment there where i wanted to just send out a mass text “come to our wedding!” but i’m SO happy with the end results. it was worth the efforts (and the money)! i couldn’t have done it without the help of my dear friend audrey from urbanic paper boutique! we had brainstorming meetings together, she guided me on the printing process, and even helped me assemble them. thank you aud!!

ok, now! let me breakdown our wedding invitations…


once i had my ring, my dress and the venue…the inspiration and theme began to come alive. i put together a mood board for all of our vendors (using my fave easy gomoodboard) including the designers for our invitations. i wanted it to have this southern romance, old new orleans vibe with hints of art deco, Gatsby and old hollywood.

my friend sent me this image and i fell in love with it! we hired mike willcox to design the artwork for our invite and he was a joy to work with. here is a few of his sketches in progress…





a few weeks back i was in ojai sitting on a blanket outside, next to this small running creek in the mountains, birds chirping, the perfect breeze, dappled sun coming through the trees (does it sound like a disney movie yet? because it felt like one!) i thought to myself…”man, has the world always been like this?” the word “awakening” has never really resonated with me…well mostly because i wasn’t at that point in my life and i thought the word sounded kinda cheesy. but in the past year, with a LOT of soul searching, reading, listening, learning, therapy, exploration…i have found a peace that i have never felt before. i do feel like the sun shines differently, and that i can find a sense of calm where i used to experience fear. i have started to understand mindfulness and have learned tools that i am sure will change my life forever. i really wanted to make a post of the resources i have been using and get your feedback if you have suggestions too! i still love this platform very much for this reason.

i also have this LONG post about my journey to self love right here. sorry if i repeat myself some, this is all new to me!

about two years ago i started EMDR therapy (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) it’s supposed to help alleviate the distress associated with trauma. i have some significant emotional and sexual childhood trauma that has followed me into my adult years and caused me to form bad patterns that would worsen my anxiety. i felt like i was stuck in a loop of pain. while work has always been my safe space, my outlet, my comfort…i needed to shift and put more focus on ME. who i am. why i didn’t love myself. why i was stuck in this fearful state of anxiety. after a pretty dark depression last year, my weekly therapy appointments and a few other things led me to a state of happiness. so here are some of those…





lacausa | designlovefest

one of our favorite brands is having a massive spring sale and we’re here for it! LACAUSA is an LA based brand that both bri and i wear on the regular. ethically made in los angeles, they have effortlessly cool pieces (like this easy striped dress i’m buying!). great basics, like my all time favorite tee shirt, and amazing jumpsuits, easy dresses, etc. one of those places, once you order once, you’ll be hooked! they are doing 40% off all their sale pieces with code” SPRINGCLEAN”. they usually do this once a year and i make sure to stock up on my favorites! act fast, things sell out very quickly!

white linen top

baby ribbed tee

sage green top

bell sleeved sweater

Stella trouser

floral print wrap dress

striped tee

cropped jacket

frank tee

white linen top – i own this top and love it. linen/cotton blends are some of my favorite fabrics and it looks so clean with jenas!

baby ribbed tee – dream tee! anything ribbed and in this pale pink combo with a subtle v-neck is everything good!

sage green top  – slightly boxy, dusty sage green and super easy to wear!

bell sleeved sweater – cotton cashmere blend, perfect summer sweater after a day at the beach or over a long dress.

Stella trouser – bri and i both have these, a great fit. true to size.

floral print wrap dress – i have the pantsuit version of this dress and get so much use out of it. this wrap dress is the perfect transition piece into spring and summer!

striped tee – a classic striped tee is a great wardrobe staple. i wear this one at least once a week!

cropped jacket – my friend merritt was wearing this a couple of weekends ago and it a great look, a little retro but sophisticated.

frank tee – never enough frank tees in my closet!

love these easy breezy pants and also the all white look below!

lacausa | designlovefest
lacausa | designlovefest

and below is the charlie jumpsuit that bri has, it’s super cute on!

lacausa | designlovefest


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